Open Source Search: Just Like Good Old Proprietary Search

April 21, 2014

The last few days have given me some food for thought. I read”Splunk Exec Defects to Tech Disruptor ElasticSearch.” The article points out:

Elastisearch co-founder and chief technology officer, Shay Banon, said the company focus was all about products. “Elasticsearch is building something bigger than any one technology and so I’m excited to have someone like Gaurav [a former Googler] on board, who shares our vision and is going to play an instrumental role in taking our products to the next level,” he said. In the past four months, the company launched its first commercial product, Elasticsearch Marvel….Bloomberg, The New York Times, Facebook, GitHub, Netflix, Yelp, Verizon, McGraw-Hill, WordPress, Atlassian and SoundCloud all use Elasticsearch to store, search and analyze any type of data in real time.

Poor Splunk. The company offers tools to help licensees “listen to their data.” First, Lucid leaves one writer with the impression that felonious behavior is coming down the Information Highway. Splunk was the target of some enthusiastic writer at the IDC combine who apparently became entangled in some Mad Men type of advertising. That article appeared in InfoWorld as “LucidWorks Preps Solr Stack as Splunk Killer.” Now ElasticSearch has allegedly hired a Splunk wizard to herd products down the busy digital trail.

What I find interesting is that open source search is starting to look more like the good old proprietary enterprise search sector. Me too products and executive churn mix with MBA think. The lingering effects of search controversies past like those swirling around Fast Search and Autonomy remain fresh in my mind.

Will ElasticSearch and Lucid Works become the new combatants in the search sector? Today both companies have chosen Splunk as the punching bag.

The more search changes, the more it remains the same it seems. Come to think of it: Most of today’s vendors are following the scripts written for Fulcrum Technologies and Verity who stomped around the C suite in the 1980s. Is the search sector running an endless loop?

Stephen E Arnold, April 21, 2014


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